View Full Version : Nationals Anecdote

August 19th, 2004, 03:04 PM
I was privileged to read the following piece that I wrote on the Charlotte National Public Radio outlet this morning. The anchor prefaced my reading (which aired twice) with a comment about how the Olympic spirit can be found in places other than Athens. I hope you all see my pride in our Master's family in writing and presenting this, and I hope no one takes offense.

"At the same time Michael Phelps was speeding through the Olympic pool in Athens, a 79 year old swimmer in lane 7 at the US Masters National Championships in Savannah wasnt making much forward progress. His official entry form said that he could complete the 200 meter butterfly race in just under six minutes, but it became clear very early on, after it took him almost four minutes to complete just the first of the races four laps, that he, and all of us watching, were in for a long ordeal.

Over the next few minutes while the swimmer in Lane 7 completed his second lap, the crowd of over 1000 competitors and hundreds more volunteers and spectators at the pool began to get uneasy. They knew that this performance would add an extra ten or fifteen minutes to the meets already long schedule on the last of its four days of competition. One of the swimmers in the bleachers near me said he didnt think the guy could possibly finish the way he was going. Another said I wonder if theyll stop him. Maybe they should. I must admit that my first thought was to agree. I thought, Whats he even doing in this race? Im only 51 and I would never register for the 200 meter butterfly, especially at the Nationals. I also thought about how none of the men in my immediate family line had ever even reached age 79.

About ten yards into his 3rd lap, a single figure appeared on the sidelines cheering him on. Each time the swimmers head and arms popped up out of what seemed to be the deep, his self-appointed cheerleader would shout Go-o-o-o-o, Go-o-o-o! It only took me a second or two to recognize that that cheerleader was one of the very best adult swimmers in the world. Go Doug, Go! she shouted. Nobody joined Nadine Day, a 34 year old world record holder, as she cheered Doug on, but I daresay we all sat transfixed as we watched this compelling drama unfold.

When Doug neared his final turn, Nadine was on her knees at the end of the lane almost leaning into the water to cheer him on. She followed him all the way home on that 4th lap. When Doug was about ten yards from the end of the race, an ovation bound to become raucous began to build in the pool. I believe that that ovation and the cheers that went with it might very well have been heard in Athens.

For some reason, Doug, who recently underwent hip replacement surgery, didnt stop when his race ended. He turned at the wall and started on a fifth lap. Everyone gasped, except Nadine Day. She dove into the water, stopped him, and pulled him over to the wall to yet another thunderous ovation. Im believing it was for the sheer joy of accomplishment that Doug wanted to keep going."

Joe Gosha

August 19th, 2004, 03:21 PM
Those of us who know Nadine love her. She lights up a room with her smile and grace. Beside she is a great swimmer.

At the SPMA Championships, she beat all the men in the 200 breast, a feat I loved!

Simply a great story swimpastor, and what Masters is all about. You should hear the chears for the 90 years olds at our meets. We all want to do the same thing, swim a 200 fly on our 90th, 95th, 100th and 105th birthdays.

August 19th, 2004, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by breastroker
Simply a great story swimpastor, and what Masters is all about. You should hear the chears for the 90 years olds at our meets. We all want to do the same thing, swim a 200 fly on our 90th, 95th, 100th and 105th birthdays.
Great story for sure. Hey I have never tried a 200fly since 1956 and I thought I had bought the biscuit then. Even though I had done 100 mtr just in a medley relay under 1 min in 1958 or 1959 when we had just started to break the 60 sec mark. 8 more years to go for me to be 79 and I don't think I will ever try another 200 m fly.

George Park www.swimdownhill.com

August 19th, 2004, 03:56 PM
Swimpastor, I must agree with you whole heartedly! I sat for a few watching this unfold....only to be caught up in the applause at the end. I then turned to my teammates sitting near me and said, "I hope I am at least able to walk at that age, let alone finish a 200 Fly." I am 41 and you couldn't talk me into that race today!

Peter Cruise
August 19th, 2004, 04:50 PM
A few years ago I entered the animal event of the Oak Harbor Pentathalon (200 each stroke, 400 im), despite my apparent lack of a butterfly. I drew into the fast heat (oh no!) & let myself get sucked into going too hard, to the point that at the 75 mark I was in serious trouble. I was honestly entertaining thoughts of fake cramps etc., when I started to notice that first the age group timers & then the rest of crowd were going mental cheering for me as I saw the rest of the swimmers vanishing in the distance sporting their obscenely coordinated undulations as I spastically twitched through the water. Now I had taken part in lots of encouragement for older swimmers in the past, but I never dreamed that at fifty years old I would be on the receiving end...the agony continued...I made it (fervently promising myself that I could scratch the rest, but I didn't) & I credit those people cheering for the feat.

August 19th, 2004, 08:30 PM
I was in the next heat of the 200 Fly, in Doug's lane. I thought it was a kick to watch the race. It certainly inspired me, although it didn't do much to cut my swim time!

-- Mel

August 20th, 2004, 12:18 AM
Talk about inspiration. I was in the pool warming down and heard a lot of cheering. I jumped out of the water and got to see this man swim his last 20 meters of his race...then turn for more! I was whooping and cheering along with everyone in the pool. It gave me chills! One of my favorite moments of the meet.

Great story Joe!

August 20th, 2004, 10:09 AM
Doug is awesome. He always swims the killer events. He's been to our meets in Kentucky many times, and I've seen him do the 200 fly much closer to his seed time. I'd say he hasn't fully recovered from his hip replacement surgery yet. But I noticed he's sure walking a lot better than he used to, so look for Doug to be WAY faster than 16 minutes the next time he swims the 200 fly!

August 20th, 2004, 10:26 AM
IMHO He could take 30 Minutes and I wouldn't complain! At 79, after hip replacement surgery....he is truly an inspiration! I will say this again...at that age, I hope to be able to make it to the pool!!:D

August 20th, 2004, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by tjburk
IMHO He could take 30 Minutes and I wouldn't complain! At 79, after hip replacement surgery....he is truly an inspiration! I will say this again...at that age, I hope to be able to make it to the pool!!:D

Hey, 200 fly isn't even in my vocabulary! Heck 200 free is barely in my vocabulary.

Ultimately, this story reflects what Masters Swimming is supposed to be about. Anyone care to disagree?:eek:

August 20th, 2004, 10:44 AM
Great Story Joe. I will always remember this race. And when I feel that I can't finish a race or practice, I will recall Doug swimming fly for 16 minutes.

Let me give you all some background information about Doug's swim.

Doug did swim the 200 fly under 6:00 within the 2 year qualifying period for Nationals. He lives across the boarder in Indiana and I have seen him swim in the past. It's amazing to me that he is still swimming. He is an inspiration to me. Doug likes to swim the most challenging events, he usually swims the mile and the 400 IM too. Last year, Doug had a total hip replacement and he is still trying to recover from the surgery and modifying his strokes to adjust to the his hip restrictions. We have to remember, he is 79 years old.

Doug was disqualified in the 100 fly (during the 400 IM) the day before for a split kick. I think his 100 fly split for the 400 IM was around 3 minutes. He was determined not to be disqualified again. He decided that he would just drag his legs and not kick at all. Basically, he pulled a 200 fly.

I had just got out the pool and noticed that Doug was swimming his 200 fly. I saw his 50 split and had many doubts that he would be able to complete the 200 fly. I definitely couldn't swim fly for that long. I couldn't believe at the 100; he was still going. I started to cheer figuring that he would SPEED UP. He just kept swimming and I think some of his strokes he didn't make any forward progress. He did get excited after completing the 200 fly from the ovation he received and kept swimming. I was in shock and just jumped in after him. It was an automatic response. Then, after his swim he said to me that it was the easiest 200 fly that he had swum in his life. I was in shock. (I almost didn't make my 200 fly, I died and barely made the last 15 meters) He also said that he knew it was me cheering and that helped him to continue. He was beeming from finishing the 200 fly. Then he walked to the warm-down pool and swam more fly in the pool. Now that was crazy. :-P

I will always remember Doug's swim and my goal will be to keep swimming at least until 79 years old. But, I don't know about swimming the 200 fly. :-)

Keep on swimming......swimming......swimming

August 20th, 2004, 11:37 AM
Hi Nadine,

As I told you on the deck, you are my hero! (I haven't had a chance to tell Doug yet that he is my hero, too, but I sure look forward to being able to do so.) Thank you for your inspiring leadership to our Master's family. We are all grateful to you and for you.


August 20th, 2004, 12:12 PM
Neat story, and Nadine, I will BET MONEY you will be swimming the 200 fly at 79 and setting records!

August 21st, 2004, 03:09 PM
I got to watch the whole thing Unfold.
Both, Doug and Naine were great!

I feel so priviledged to have made nadines Acquaintance...
I still can't believe that she talks to the lil' ole me!

We even got to hang out... the only things is.,.. she wouldn't share her Tiramisu, but who could blame her, I wouldn't give up Tiramisu either. ;)

Hi Nadine :)

August 23rd, 2004, 05:16 AM
Hi Everyone.

Greetings from Athens.

It was my pleasure meeting you in Italy and at SPMA and Nationals. If I ordered more than one Tiramisu then I might have shared it with you. :-) I am planning on being at Mission next year. I am happy to move up into the 35 age group too.

I love meeting people at meets. Swimming is a social sport.
It is my honor to meet you too. I love watching people swim and it doesn't matter what caliber of swimmer.

Keep on swimming............................

August 23rd, 2004, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by NKMD
Hi Everyone.

Greetings from Athens.

It was my pleasure meeting you in Italy and at SPMA and Nationals. If I ordered more than one Tiramisu then I might have shared it with you. :-) I am planning on being at Mission next year. I am happy to move up into the 35 age group too.

I love meeting people at meets. Swimming is a social sport.
It is my honor to meet you too. I love watching people swim and it doesn't matter what caliber of swimmer.

Keep on swimming............................

When you're here next time, or next time I see you, we'll have to go make a special Tiramisu outing. ;)

Hope you're having a blast in Athens :)

August 23rd, 2004, 03:09 PM
I am having a great time.

I saw the swimmers at the TODAY show this afternoon (which was morning for all of you)

I went to the gold medal softball game. AWESOME. It gave me chills when the national anthem was being played.

The Olympics are great.
Even though the venues don't look full. they are sold out, most of the empty seats are reserved and corporate seating.

It has been great meeting people and going out.

GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 19th, 2004, 08:01 PM
It's about time, now that it's been a month since Swimpastor's anecdote appeared here, that the story be told in the "first person". How it happened and why. So, I've gotta supply a little background, which has cost me a great amount of time and effort to assemble. I don't know how to put all of this stuff in a respectable order without an editor to scold me, but here goes!

I found a note that says that my first serious attempt to swim butterfly, 25 yards, was with Don Glass's help on 9-23-75. Then two days later I swam a 50 fly in 60 seconds. This was using the breaststroke kick, the dolphin being too much of a mystery for me to tackle for several years later when I was inspired to change by Manny, Sanguilly. Now Dr. Sanguilly, had been, maybe still is, a world record holder in breaststroke, and wrote that since butterfly was now a stroke apart from breaststroke it should be swum with the dolphin kick, and that he was setting the example, himself!

Before I changed to the dolphin kick I had set a (secret) record, international, since it was in a 50 meter pool by swimming the 50 meters in six strokes legal butterfly. I began with a push-off, two whip kicks, followed with one stroke, etc. until I touched the wall, considerably later after six breaths and six strokes. (My notes don't say whether the touch came after a stroke or a kick). This had been 7-17-86 and I had been working up to it for some days, having swum the same distance breaststroke ten days earlier in twelve strokes. (Yes, legally, with one kick per stroke).

From 1991 to 2002 I swam from 11 to 15 meets per year, totalling 155. During this time I got a DQ 9 times, always for breaststroke, mostly (not that it is illegal) for breathing every other stroke. Never a DQ for Back, Free, or Butterfly strokes.

Since there is a word limit, I'll continue later.

September 20th, 2004, 12:52 AM
Since my hip total replacement (which I had postponed for 9 1/2 years since I originally scheduled it in Dec. 1993) done in June and again in July 2003, I have swum the 200 short course butterfly 7 times, the first two in meter pools in times of 8:40.77 and 8:03.89. The five yard times were from 2-14 to 4-22, 2004, with times 6:29.41, 7:12.42, 6:27.97, 6:51.80, and 7:06.49. The slower times were probably in meets where I swam one or two previous events. My only previous 2002 long course 200 fly was at the Canadian Nationals in Edmonton in May, which I swam in 8:33.62. I did not use that time as my seed time for the Savannah meet because I always put down my best legal seed time unless I have an overridingly important reason to put down a slower time. For instance in Dec. of 2002 I had swum a time of 5:54.66, but it was short course meters for the Colonies Zone Championships. Thus, my seed time of 5:59.94 was from the long course Hoosier State Games of July 20, 2002, and was my best time when I sent in my entry. This best legal time has always been my practice since June Krauser wrote eloquently on the subject 20 or 30 years ago. (I've never been accused of sandbagging a seed time)!

Maybe it's time now to get to what happened in Savannah while the hurricane, Charley, was hovering nearby. My dolphin kick was DQed during the 400 IM that I swam on Friday. It was explained to me why, and that since it was a judgment call it could not be contested. So it was that I decided to, and did swim the 200 IM the next day by crossing my ankles to prevent my dolphin kick from drawing another DQ. Although the kick change was permitted it was too slow and uncomfortable, especially with all of the waves and seemingly magnetic lane lines, so I deccided to swim the 200 butterfly on Sunday by not kicking at all. I did not know that I would be as slow as I was, but still did expect to be slower than the eleven plus minutes that was posted in the women's 200 Butterfly. I told the swimmers in my heat of my intentions so that they would not be distracted by wondering about me, and also told the starter.

I think y'all'll understand that it is hard for me to believe that there was really anything wrong with my dolphin kick for the first time in 293 events of 200 fly and 400IM since 1991. Especially since my six days a week workouts have included at least an hour of dolphin kicking a day since 1999 in Minneapolis, my 200 Butterfly was only 99 & 44/100ths completed. (I was vertical by that time and had drifted against a lane line, causing my progress to be backwards).

Maybe it is worth mentioning, too, that I am probably the only one over 75 who does not use the breaststroke kick at all in the butterfly events. I still carry with me the form, prepared by USMS in 1992, that requires meet official's signatures certifying my exclusive use of the dolphin kick in butterfly events, this in the unlikely event that I would claim a World Record. (I also carry a Texas Poll Tax receipt for 1958, before I moved back home again in Indiana from Houston).

Enuf a'ready. At least for now.

September 20th, 2004, 09:18 AM

You da man!!! We love you. Thanks for filling in the details of the story. It makes it so much better.


September 26th, 2004, 11:35 PM
Y'all... I gotta begin by apologizing to Manuel Ganguily for misspelling both of his names in my last post. Also I misstated two dates. The year in line 5 was not 2002, but 2004 for the Canadian Nationals in Edmonton. And the year was not 1992, but 2002 when some of us older swimmers carried forms with the assertion that our butterfly had been swum without any kind of breaststroke kick, as FINA required for a short time before it got changed back in response to many protests.

So, then, what better place than the Nationals forum to toss out a proposal for coupla new rules? Like

The USMS should prepare and make available a form, such as the one requesting extra timers be assigned to those who feel that they might be setting a new record, etc., a new form that:

1. Requests that any "judgement call" DQ must be made by at least two officials, independently observed, and in writing, independently by each.

2. Such forms must be submitted the swimmer prior to the day's first event, or (maybe) before heat one of the event in question.

Also another rule, not related to the above, but helpful:

Unless a formal disqualification "ticket" is made available to the swimmer within a reasonable time, the DQ will be overruled by the appropriate official.

Whatch'all think? Any thoughts, pro or con would be appreciated before carrying to the next step.

September 26th, 2004, 11:44 PM
I can't believe I did it again!!! His name is Manuel Sanguily. Sorry!!!

Rob Copeland
September 27th, 2004, 08:48 AM
Doug, my thoughts on your proposed changes to our rules regarding DQs.

First as an event director, requiring dual independent verification of a practically all DQ (since 90%+ of DQs are judgment calls), would require me to double the number of on deck officials. Which in my case would mean that I would not run my meet in the future. Its enough trouble just meeting the basic requirements at small meets; this would put many of us out of business.

As for notification of the swimmer, this is already covered in Part 1 of our rules. Did you see problems with our existing language?

And as a swimmer, who was also DQed at Savannah; they DQed me for going past the 15 Meter mark in my backstroke breakout. I thought I was up right at the mark, but thats the way it goes. The official saw what she saw, and Im not going to complain about it.

But back to Dougs butterfly. If your butterfly kick is illegal and it is due to hip problems, you may wish to look into getting this condition classified as a disability. This then would provide the referee broader discretion in allowing for accommodations to USMS stroke rules. More information can be found in Article 108 of the USMS rule book.

Good Luck and keep swimming!